Pentagon declassified footage from a U.S. drone attack in Kabul, which killed 10 civilians including 7 children in the last hours of America’s chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan.
These videos contain approximately 25 minutes footage taken from MQ-9 Reaper drones. They show the scene before, during, and after the missile hit a civilian vehicle in a street courtyard.
Instinct photos show civilians in the vicinity of the attack zone. They include children running into courtyards seconds prior to the strike.
The footage was posted publicly by the US Central Command on Wednesday night, shortly after President Joe Biden’s first official press conference in 10 month. After a New York Times lawsuit for the video, the footage was posted.
It is the first time that video footage taken during the strike has been released to the public. Although initially defensed by the Pentagon, it later acknowledged that this was an unfortunate oversight.
The Department of Defense released this video from drone footage. It shows the missile that was fired from a drone and hit Kabul in Afghanistan, killing 10 civilians.
This marks the public’s first release of footage taken during the strike on Aug. 29, which was initially justified by the Pentagon, but then called a terrible mistake. 7 of the 10 killed were children.
Ten civilians died in the botched drone strike, which occurred during the chaos American withdrawal from Afghanistan. Seven children were among them.
According to the military, the attack was directed at an ISIS-K terrorist, which might soon detonate the bomb close to Kabul’s airport. A rush evacuation was currently underway.
A suicide bombing had occurred at the airport three days before, killing 13 U.S. soldiers and over 160 Afghans.
After the failed drone strike, Joint Chiefs Chairman Mark A. Milley famously justified the actions as a “righteous strike”.
Central Command later admitted its mistake in striking, but said that it had determined the driver of the vehicle was not connected to the ISIS K group.
DailyMail.com, and many other outlets reported the strike’s target. Zemari Ahmadi worked at Nutrition and Education International (a U.S-based aid agency) and looked like a civilian.
When a Hellfire missile struck the white Toyota Corolla 1996, seven children died. The Hellfire missile was misidentified as having been packed with explosives in Kabul.
This Wednesday’s footage was released It shows briefly what appears to have been a blurry, shorter person in white beside a taller man in black in the courtyard. This was about two minutes prior to the explosion.
A one-color video that was slightly more clear than the second in black and white showed children opening and closing the right car door.
Black and white footage shows the car pulling into the backyard of the home. Indistinct characters can be seen around the vehicle.
Previous reports indicate that Ahmadi’s children welcomed him at his house as soon after he arrived. Naser, Ahmadi’s adult cousin, walked outside and helped him to bring water jugs in. US forces instantly deemed Naser a “co-conspirator” and started the strike.
At 4.53pm, a Hellfire missile was detonated in the Corolla. Ahmadi was killed along with three of his children: Faisal, 16 and Farzad 10, and Zamir, 20 years. Ahmadi also lost three nephews, Arwin and Benyamin. Hayat and Hayat were both two-year-olds. Somaya and Malika are three-years-old.
A spokesperson for CENTCOM confirmed that videos showed the Aug 29 drone strike in Kabul.
According to a statement, ‘While we believed that the strike would pose an imminent threat for our troops at Hamad Karzai International Airport’, it was not intended to kill any family members.
He added that he deeply regretted the loss of lives caused by this strike.
PICTURED: 10 innocent victims of a drone attack by the US on ISIS-K, Afghanistan
Ahmadi’s house is located approximately three kilometers away from Kabul Airport, where US troops were trying to evacuate. On August 26, a suicide bomber had also killed 13 Americans and hundreds of Afghans.
General Frank McKenzie of CENTCOM, General Commander said that ‘we were concerned that the vehicle might move quickly and reach the airport boundary within a matter or moments’.
In the beginning, Pentagon claimed that secondary explosions proved that Corolla contained explosive materials.
McKenzie admitted later that McKenzie’s missile probably ignited a propane tank nearby the car. This created large fireballs which were spotted by drone surveillance.
McKenzie stated that he was able to see a couple of partially obscured forms moving around the compound after reviewing the footage from a drone.
McKenzie stated that the strike was “a tragedy”
After the devastating drone strike in Kabul, this is the Toyota Corolla that was destroyed.
While the military initially claimed it was targeting an ISIS K extremist, they admitted later that they had been mistaken
The Pentagon stated last month that it would not take any punitive actions against military personnel who were involved in the failed drone strike.
John Kirby, Pentagon Press Secretary, stated that senior commanders have made recommendations to Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin. None of these included holding officers responsible.
He stated that he saw a failure in the process and execution of procedural events. This was not the outcome of negligence or misconduct but rather a lack of leadership.
A military inspection led by an inspector general of the Air Force found that no one was criminally negligent during the strike.
This left General McKenzie and Commander U.S. Special Operations Command General Richard Clarke with the responsibility of deciding whether any discipline action should be taken.
Kirby said that the Secretary reviewed and approved all of Kirby’s recommendations.
“All of them, again, are classified. But, there were no explicit recommendations made by either side regarding any accountability or punishment.
Joint Chiefs Chairman Mark A. Milley said that ‘This was the righteous strike’ days later. Milley claimed Ahmadi was an “ISIS facilitator”.
In September, the Defense Department acknowledged that it made a “tragic error.”
Kirby, during the briefing to the media, stated the importance of the context surrounding the increased threat of attack at Kabul Airport.
He stated that ‘this was a dynamic scenario in which were were we believed we were facing a very tangible and active threat to our people as well as to Afghans at airport’.
Critics of the strike were horrified by the outcome. They said that it was sensible to admit the error but not hold any one responsible.
‘This decision is shocking,’ Steven Kwon, the founder of Nutrition & Education International that employed Ahmadi, told the New York Times.
How can the military take 10 innocent Afghan lives and not hold anyone accountable?
The Department of Defense has previously said it will offer condolence payments to the relatives of the people killed and was also working with the State Department to help surviving family members relocate to the United States.
Kirby last month stated that “We take civilian harm very seriously.”
“When we state that we take it serious, it means we are taking it seriously.” But that doesn’t make us perfect. He said that it doesn’t necessarily mean we get everything right every time.
“And when it doesn’t go as planned, we will have those errors investigated.”